Good afternoon dear reader & welcome to my world for another week. Like Sir Bob Jones in the NBR last weekend, I am a relatively prolific reader. I enjoy it & especially the learning one can achieve. To quote Sir Bob, “I read because the topics, like absolutely everything for that matter, are interesting & add to one’s knowledge. But for sheer joy & most important of all, the cultivation of ones’ imagination, there is nothing to match it…”
So to this last week, @ 0300 one morning I learnt a new word, thankQ to James Clear. What is entropy? Here's a simple way to think about it: Imagine if you take a box of puzzle pieces & dump them out on a table. In theory, it is possible for the pieces to fall perfectly into place & create a completed puzzle when you dump them out of the box. But in reality, this never happens.
Quite simply, because the odds are overwhelmingly against it. Every piece would have to fall in just the right spot to create a completed puzzle. There is only one possible state where every piece is in order, but there are an infinite number of states where the pieces are in disorder. Mathematically speaking, an orderly outcome is incredibly unlikely to happen at random.
Similarly, if you build a sand castle on the beach & return a few days later, it will no longer be there. There is only one combination of grains of sand which could look like your sand castle. Meanwhile, there are an infinite number of combinations which do not look like it.
Again, in theory, it is possible for the wind & waves to move the sand around & create the shape of your sand castle. But in practice, it never happens. The odds are astronomically higher the sand will be scattered into a random clump.
These simple examples capture the essence of entropy. Entropy is a measure of disorder. Scattered puzzle pieces have high entropy. A perfectly organized puzzle has low entropy & there are always far more disorderly variations than orderly ones. So it appears in my life my friends. Much beyond my control.
It is the natural tendency of things to lose order. Left to its own devices, life will always become less structured. Sand castles get washed away. Weeds overtake gardens. Ancient ruins crumble. Cars begin to rust. People gradually age. With enough time, even mountains erode & their precise edges become rounded. The inevitable trend is regretfully things become less organized.
So, in preparation for this article I went away looking for examples which concur with my frustration w& this principal of Entropy I find I fall into regularly. Tom Monaghan started Domino Pizza in 1960 with one little shop & struggled for eight years. When his shop burned to the ground, the insurance company paid him only one cent on the dollar to cover his losses. Sounds like he needed a broker!
All he knew was pizza, so he started another shop. He worked 100 hours a week. By 1971 he was $1.5m in debt. But he stayed in his field & tried something new. He limited his menu to pizza only, & decided to deliver it hot & fresh to customers @ no extra charge. It worked & by 2007 Domino’s Pizza had grown to 6100 stores around the world.
By the time Romana Bañuelos was 16 she had been deserted by her husband & left to raise two children on her own. Living in Mexico, she was poverty stricken, untrained in any profession & unable to speak English. But she had a dream ~ one she refused to let go. With only a few dollars she headed for Los Angeles. Immediately she found a job washing dishes, followed by a second job making tortillas from midnight until 6am. From her two jobs she was able to save $500 which she used to invest in her own tortilla machine.
Over time & with a great deal of hard work & study, she became owner of Romana’s Mexican Food Products, the largest Mexican Food business in the world. Finally, she was hand-picked by President Nixon to become the 34th United States Treasurer. Romana Bañuelos exemplifies one with a dream & the discipline propelling our future. President Eisenhower once suggested: “We succeed only as we identify in life, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, & make all other considerations bend to this one objective.”
What was the secret for Tom Monaghan? He started where he was, fought for what he believed to be his God-given purpose, & when he was knocked down, he managed to get back up.
It is the fault of nobody if life has problems. It is simply a law of probability. There are many disordered states & few ordered ones. Given the odds against us, what is remarkable is not this life has problems, but we can solve them at all. For me, I am off to pick up the pieces of a puzzle & put them back together again, myself…
So I wonder, how does Entropy matter or effect you in your life dear friends?
Thank you for taking the time to be with me once again. I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson, with my best wishes for another week of success & results ahead. Please take care out there. I look forward to being with you all again then.